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File under: Industrial

Ain Soph


Label: Misty Circles

Format: CDx2

Genre: Music from Italy

Out of stock

As a group whose work has spanned the best part of eighteen years, Ain Soph have always acted as a touchstone for the post-industrial scene, whether in the form of their early ritualistic utterances such as  I and  II (issued by Misty Circles in 1984 and 1985 respectively) which gave us a style which was to find its purest and most sophisticated form in 1988's Kshatriya, or in their later and more classically-influenced work such as the Cthulhu-issued Ain Soph/Sigillum S split cassette or the Staalplaat released self-titled work (cassette 1990, CD 1992) which presented us with settings of Petrach, Andre Fréderique and the poems of the wandering scholars. I992's  Aurora took this later style to its logical conclusion being an uneasy but brave selection of 'songs' that mixed in equal measure the words of the military display, café society and the canciones of the itinerano Italian street singer. To quote their booklet notes: "If Magic is Tradition in the veins of history, doctrines that deny all values are the enemy."

Ain Soph III returns us to the days before Kshatriya and as it was previously only ever available as a cassette it was always the least known of the early albums. This official reissue by Old Europa Cafe/Misty Circles Records takes the form of a double CD in plain card packaging. The first CD is taken up with one track, 'rituale 00' which continues the trance like characteristics that were always apparent in I and II but taken to new lengths both in duration and by its insistence on a more seamless quality than its predecessors. The recording is dense in feel and if lacking in dramatic interest this should be seen as a virtue when the composition is considered as either ritual or as an accompaniment to the same.

The second CD of self-titled solo work by Crucifige, while less successful as a composition, is probably the more interesting half of the set, for while these are obviously 'home demos' they present us with the group's first attempt at the more mannered utilisation of text that was to dominate the later albums. Curiously, while the titles of the three compositions are given in Italian - i) 'il faltimento di Gesu', ii) 'Oscurita visibile', and iii) 'L'immondizia, la citta, e la morte', they are actually sung in English. This was probably a mistake as the singer's technique at this point wasn't quite up to his aspirations, such texts requiring a slightly surer touch in word painting; but only the final piece outstays its welcome and overall this second disc is a valiant effort that is only spoiled in this reissue by the absence of proper tracking (all three pieces being programmed as one number) and the fact that little has been done to clean up and improve upon the sound quality of the original masters. Nonetheless, for those that admire Ain Soph, this is an essential release in charting the group's development. Beginners would probably be better advised to start with the Staalplaat Ain Soph or Kshatriya but overall these discs are a worthy addition to the Apocalyptic canon of the post-industrial movement and thus surely deserve our serious attention. Hail to The Limitless Light!
File under: Industrial
Cat. number: mcr16
Year: 2009